Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of November 18, 2021

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Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of November 18, 2021

This week’s highlights include MPS Giving Opportunities, MHS Music Highlights, Eagle Scout Projects at Tucker, Cunningham PAWSitivity Assembly, and more.

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

As we approach Thanksgiving next week, there is so much to be thankful for: full in person learning, parent and guardian support across our schools, our engaged and energetic student body, and of course our dedicated and hardworking staff. I am grateful for all of the above, every single day.

I want to call your attention to several opportunities for MPS families to support Milton families who may need some assistance this season. Whether you support these initiatives or others, I am also grateful for the overwhelming generosity of our MPS community.

Steel & Rye is working with the Milton Public Schools and The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester to prepare and donate complete Thanksgiving Dinners to at least 100 families who experience food insecurity. Each dinner will serve up to eight people, so that’s food for 800!

If you would like to contribute to funding this effort you may do so at this link. Any funds raised in excess of the cost will be donated directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester to help support families in their community this holiday season. Thank you in advance for your support.

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The MPS 2021 Holiday Giving Drive organized by our PTOs will run from December 6th-9th in our schools. For the holiday season, the Milton Public Schools has partnered with My Brother’s Keeper and the Milton Residents Fund to ensure all Milton families in need have a wonderful holiday season.

The toy drive needs donations of all types of toys, and high demand items include Legos, LOL Surprise dolls, dolls representing a diverse array of skin tones, cultures and ethnicities, superhero action figures, arts and craft kits, science/STEM kits, board games, video games, books, footballs and basketballs, outdoor active toys, or anything representing Boston sports teams. We cannot accept food or violent games. $25 Target gift Cards are always needed as well.

Support and shop with a local business while supporting the toy drive! Shop in-person, online, or over the phone with The Toy Chest in East Milton Square or The Toy Box (owned by an MPS family) in Hanover. At the Toy Box, if you shop on November 21 or 22, 20% of the proceeds will go back to the MPS PTOs – simply mention your school name at check out.

Bring your new, unwrapped item(s) to one of the collection boxes in the lobby of any of the elementary schools between Monday, December 6 – Thursday, December 9. Thank you for helping us make the Holiday Season a little bright for our neighbors!

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If you are in need of assistance this holiday season (or at any time), please reach out to your building principal or Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at [email protected].  All calls and emails are confidential.

Next week is a short week in the Milton Public Schools with our Thanksgiving break from Wednesday, November 24 – Friday, November 26. We will return to school on Monday, November 29. I wish you and your family a relaxing and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

School Committee 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on December 1, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

Health And Safety

The Town of Milton is hosting three free, drive-thru COVID testing days at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.  All are welcome on these three Sundays: November 21, November 28 & December 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Recently, the federal government gave Pfizer’s pediatric COVID 19 vaccine for ages 5-11 final approval and doses are now available in Massachusetts. The state will be updating the their website as new vaccination sites become available.  The Vaxfinder tool can be used along with links to retail pharmacies  CVS’s scheduling site or Walgreens’ scheduling site to schedule appointments.

Manet Community Health Center  is also an option for pediatric patients. There is a Manet clinic at Quincy High School, 100 Coddington St., Quincy on Saturday, November 20, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The vaccine clinic is open to the community. Registration requested at this link. 

For the time period of Thursday, November 11 – Wednesday, November 17, MPS had  7 positive student cases, and 3 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Nov 24-26 Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec 1 School Committee Meeting
  • Dec 7 MHS Winter Concert
  • Dec 9 MHS Post Secondary Planning Night
  • Dec 9 Early Release Date K-12 (PT Conf Gr K-5 only)
  • Dec 16 MHS Information Night

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

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Please join the Milton High School Guidance Counselors for their annual Post Secondary Planning night, at Milton High on  Thursday, December 9 at 6:15 p.m. in the MHS Auditorium. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate their post secondary decisions:

  • Financial Aid –  How to pay for College
  • Standardized Testing –  Standardized Tests: The SAT vs The ACT
  • College Admissions – An Insider View
  • College Athletics – From Intramural to Division I Sports
  • Overview of the College Application Process – Milton High Procedures
  • Naviance 101

Representatives from Emmanuel College Admissions, Bridgewater State University, Summit Educational Group, “Strategies for College” and Milton High School staff will be running these 6 sessions. After a brief introduction in the auditorium, each session will run four times, in 25 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend up to four sessions between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in grades 8 through 12.  Masks are required in the building.

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Milton High School Grade 8 Information Night: Please join us on Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Milton High School Auditorium (25 Gile Rd) for an opportunity to learn about Milton High School course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school. Current 8th grade students, parents and guardians are invited to attend this informational session and tour of Milton High School. If unable to attend, the presentation and a virtual tour of the building will be provided.

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Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates. More information will follow in the coming weeks.

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2021 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration – Begins Monday, December 13, 2021

High School Happenings

Bravo to the MHS Music Department students who have been accepted to the MMEA Eastern District Senior Festival! Over 750 students from 30 surrounding communities submitted audition materials to be considered for acceptance to the festival. The following MHS students were accepted to the festival:

  • Jazz Band- Timothy Fay
  • Chorus- Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, Nessa Malin
  • Band- Max Hollingsworth-Hays, Claudia O’Neill

Congratulations to Timothy Fay, Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, Nessa Malin and Claudia O’Neill who, in addition to their acceptance to the festival, have been recommended to audition for the MMEA All State Festival in January!

Inside Our Elementary Schools

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Tucker School has kicked off an initiative to learn more and develop an understanding about the experiences within our community while completing a Community Service project to benefit recent Haitian and Afghan immigrants.

This initiative is a joint collaboration between the Tucker Cares PTO program and the Tucker Diversity Committee. We are also excited to partner with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance (MECA) and the Glover community to support this important work.

Students are making fleece tied blankets for Afghan evacuee families, writing welcome letters and drawing colorful pictures for families, assembling materials to create Blessing Baskets and gathering donations to support families.

All families are welcome and encouraged to visit the Tucker playground to view a newly installed storywalk of Dreamers by Yuri Morales set up by MECA. We hope that families will enjoy reading the text and discussing their own family stories as we enter the Thanksgiving season.

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Ms. Bernini’s Collicot and Cunningham 4th grade art students have been working on a Norval Morrisseau inspired collage in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Students began their collage with observational drawing to block out shapes to create an animal silhouette. Students then layered colors and shapes to create overlapping designs inside their animals.

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Tucker was the grateful recipient of two recent Eagle Scout projects that have beautified our outdoors and also created more opportunity for joy outside! Tucker is grateful for these new elements in our outdoor space.

Tucker alumni and MHS seniors Max Hollingsworth-Hayes and Camden Leverault have both graciously given back to Tucker School through their Eagle Scout projects. Max made a tubulum (musical instrument) to enhance the Tucker recess area, while Camden completed his project by raising funds for a beautiful new Ginkgo tree that he planted as well as adding a hand-stenciled and painted Tucker mascot and a unique design to the outside space.

A tubulum is a musical instrument that is laid out just like a piano. Sound is made by hitting each tube with the paddles, and different notes are produced from each one. Each of the tubes are labeled with their note names. Our students have learned that you can make a lot of music out of this instrument. Max’s tubulum is made out of wood and PVC pipe (which is used in plumbing), and is painted red and white – our Tucker colors!

Camden shared that by creating this image he felt “Greeting students with the representation of the school in animal form not only will it be an enjoyable thing for students to look at, but it will be a reminder of the fraternity that they will experience while attending Tucker Elementary School. Students will be reminded each time they walk into school that they are a part of a family.”

In planning his project, Camden shared that “Tucker School holds a large part of my childhood, upbringing, and memories; and I would love to have my project benefit the Tucker community.” While Max shared that “His hope is to inspire our Tucker Tigers to begin their own musical journeys, and experience all of the great things that he has!”

Thank you to both Max and Camden for their amazing projects!

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Why do tigers have stripes? Why is the sky blue? Why do giraffes have long necks? Mme Scialom’s  5th grade Glover students used their imagination and creativity to write their own tales to explain the origins of things with “les contes de Pourquoi” (the tales of why). They shared their work, telling their stories to Mme Koita’s 3rd grade students. Both grades enjoyed the Glover Outdoor Classroom for their gathering and storytelling.

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Cunningham School came together this week for their first PAWSitivity Awards to celebrate students who exemplify Cunningham’s core tenets of being Respectful, Responsible and Safe. In a wonderful in-person school assembly, students from each homeroom were recognized with Cougar Paw certificates in what will now be a monthly PAWSitivity Awards assembly. The assembly fell on the 50th day of school for our Kindergarten students, who celebrated that milestone. Ms. Caswell was recognized as the first teacher recipient for her continuous efforts to promote a Respectful, Responsible and Safe environment in her classroom. Congratulations to our winners, who can be found here.

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Registration for December Vacation Camp is open! Join the fun at at Cunningham and Collicot over December break. All details can be found here. Please email [email protected] or call  617-696-5040 ext 5544, with any questions.

Food Service

This past week we introduced a new menu item at MHS – Acai Bowls! The sorbet-like base is made from acai berry and can be topped with healthy options like fruit, as well as some more fun toppings like sunbutter and coconut shavings. This makes for a satisfying and refreshing meal that the students will surely enjoy, and if acai is not your thing, yogurt parfaits are also an option. Acai Bowls are served at MHS on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every student is entitled to one free lunch every day and your Acai Bowl can be your lunch item.

MPS Food Service is hiring for all positions – permanent and substitute, both full and part-time. Pay is $17.28 per hour. Email Jackie Morgan at [email protected] for details. Come join our MPS team!

The November Food Service update can be found at this link.  Menus are at this link. 

Athletics

The Boys Cross Country Team finished 6th at State Meet at the Wrentham Development Center on Saturday, 11/13. The Girls Team finished 3rd, just 4 points behind the 1st place team. Both teams qualified for All-States on Saturday, 11/20.

Football lost to North Attleboro by 62-28 in a crazy game that saw even crazier weather. They will end their season with the Thanksgiving Day Game at Braintree High School. That game is at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, 11/25.

Our Cheer Team will travel to Worcester State University on Sunday for the State Championships.

Swim had an excellent showing on Friday at the Wellesley Pool.  Elle Anthony, Malachi Buchanan, Sydney Burns, Kaleigh Boynton, Madison Crummey, Aidan Crummey, Liv DiSandro, Kevin Carberry, Rose Gillooly, Tucker Korman, Garet Glenn, and Jackson Wagner competed at the MIAA Division 2 state meet last Friday night in Wellesley. The girls finished 6th out of 21 girl teams, and the boys finished 2nd out of 3 boy teams. Both the girls and boys 400 yard freestyle relays broke the school record. Elle Anthony, Madison Crummey and Rose Gillooly placed in the top 3 of their individual events and broke school records. It was a fun and exciting meet to end the season.

We had three students sign Division I Letters of Intent on Monday, with one more to sign in the near future. Congratulations to our student-athletes!

  • Norah Affanato, Loyola University Maryland, Cross Country & Track
  • Charlie Walker, Northeastern University, Baseball
  • Brian Foley, UMass Lowell, Baseball
  • Sophia Manning, Temple University, Crew

Our own Ben Kelly was also named MIAA Golf Coach-of-the-Year! Congratulations, Ben! You can read more about Coach Kelly below under Superintendent Shoutout.

Winter Registration is open and will remain open until tryouts start on Monday, November 29th. Tryout times and locations will be released next week.There will be a Parent/Guardian Meeting on Tuesday, December 7 in the Copeland Field House.

  • 5:00 p.m. Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Ski
  • 5:30 p.m. Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Ice Hockey, Cheer
  • 6:00 p.m. Boys Indoor Track, Girls Indoor Track, Girls Basketball

Community News

Cardinal Cushing Centers Run to Change Lives: Run, Walk, or Roll  at the Run to Change Lives on November 20th at Cunningham Elementary School! Pre/Day of Registration: 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Race start: 9:00 a.m. 5K Registration fee is $25. Register today at this link.

Montilios Wood Fired Pizza Truck, Playa Bowls and Hint Water will be on site for the annual Cardinal Cushing 5k run/walk/roll event.

Please join us for some exercise followed by a fun celebration that includes a live DJ, great food, Cardinal Cushing merchandise and prizes to top runners and fundraisers. If you have any questions please contact event manager Ricky DeSisto at [email protected].

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Milton Parks and Recreation Department shares the following information. about their Ski Program at Blue Hills for ages 7-15. The program consists of five  days of great fun and learning at the Blue Hills Ski Area. Saturdays:  1/8, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12 ; Sundays: 1/9, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13 Times: 9:45 a.m. -11:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The cost is as follows:

  • 5 Lessons Ski or Snowboard and Lift ticket: $249
  • 5 Lessons Ski or Snowboard with Unlimited Season Pass: $378
  • 5 Lessons Ski or Snowboard , Lift ticket and Rental: $359
  • 5 Lessons Ski or Snowboard , Unlimited Season Pass and Rental: $488
  • Helmet Rental offered separately at Blue Hills Ski rental shop

The Saturday  and Sunday Ski & Snowboard program lift ticket only allows ski/snowboard during lesson times. Please arrive 1 hour early the first week since lessons will start promptly at their scheduled time.

Milton Parks and Recreation is only accepting online registrations! Registration will be available Friday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. Please see this link to access online registration.

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The Milton Public Library’s  November calendar is at this link and the December calendar can be found here. 

At long last, the Children’s Room is pleased to introduce our new StoryWalk! This permanent installation on the Library’s Canton Ave patios will feature different picture books for all ages to enjoy through all of the seasons of the year. Please stop by and check out our current offering: Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka! Our StoryWalk is a program of Milton Moves, and we thank the Milton Library Foundation for funding this fresh-air fun for families.

Join us on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. for an in-person session with Mad Science. We’ll be exploring Kitchen Chemistry. For kids in grades K-6; register today at this link.  To learn more and to register for programs, please visit the MPL website. Please see below for details on two upcoming book sales.

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Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs.  Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register.

PRE-K: The Pre-K program is open to kids age 3 through 5. Conducted by professional instructors from Hermes Lima Soccer Academy and will run on Saturdays and Sundays. Registrants will be required to enter their preference of day which will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.
K-2+ LEAGUE: The K-2+ program is open to kids in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade and is offered in the fall and spring. This program runs on Saturdays or Sundays for 60 minutes. Each week features a skills session followed by a controlled game. All games are played in Milton.
TRAVEL LEAGUE: Grades 3-8, games on Saturdays (5 home and 5 away games), weekday practices in the fall and spring and play in the BAYS league.
TOPSoccer LEAGUE: US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is an Outreach Soccer Program for athletes with intellectual, emotional and or physical disabilities. The program strives to provide soccer opportunities for players to develop at their own pace in a safe, fun and supportive/inclusive environment.

Visit the Milton Soccer website at for more information about all our programs and click on Register to sign up online.  The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).

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Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8.  Register now at this link.  Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link. 

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Come visit DCR’s Brookwood Farm property this Sunday November 21st. The End of Season Sale for Brookwood Community Farm takes place from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Arrive to 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton, park in the lot immediately to your right and walk down to the greenhouse along the farm road. If the lot is full, please be patient and return after a short wait or enjoy the walk from Trinity Church, 1 Blue Hill River Rd. Masks will be required inside the greenhouse. Checkout accepts cash, credit cards and EBT. You will find local produce (some in bulk), honey, maple syrup and more! Public access at this property includes Blue Hills Reservation trails out back and a beautiful walk around the farm road, bringing you through the sugar maple lane.

Superintendent Shoutout

Congratulations to MHS Vice Principal Ben Kelly who has been selected as the recipient of the MIAA Coach of the Year Award for the sport of Golf! Coach Kelly’s selection was based upon excellence of character, impact upon students and community and coaching credentials. Mr. Kelly has had a profound impact on MHS students throughout his career at MHS  and it is wonderful to see him recognized by the MIAA. Thank you to Mr. Kelly for all that he has done throughout his academic and coaching career for our students.

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The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

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